Thanks to all who attended our Improving Assessment: Grading and Error Correction TA Workshop

Thanks to everyone who showed up at our event on Thursday, Nov. 4, and thanks especially to Dr. Tamara Fish of CLASS for putting together such a helpful presentation; thanks also to Dr. Aymara Boggiano for helping to organize the event.

We had quite full attendance, with roughly 39 registered for the event, and what felt like at least another 5-10 present who had not registered, including supervisors etc.  HSD and ET were once again most heavily represented in pilot programs, with roughly equal numbers I think from PSY, EPSY, and ENGL.  We had a very large contingent from Poli Sci, too, as well as other programs who apparently had heard from the announcement on Cathy Patterson’s grad director’s listserv.

Tamara divided the session between a 20-30 min. overview of the key concepts and practices of grading and assessment, including rubrics, followed by lunch and hands on grading exercises at tables segregated roughly by discipline.  The TAs had assignments from ENGL, HSD, and ET to grade separately and discuss their results.  Discussion at the tables and immediately following was very lively, and we all felt that we and the students could have used a bit more time to discuss the issues.

Tamara has provided us with the pdf of her handout, which those interested in reviewing the presentation may find here.


My favorite point from the discussion came when Tamara talked about the dual purposes of asssessments in instruction, which serve as “instruments of instruction” for both students and faculty:

  • for students: good assessments help them learn, understand their progress (command of content, intellectual development, quality of performance, accuracy of understanding)
  • for teachers: good assessments help us know how well we have succeeded in achieving our objectives, and show us whether we may have fallen short.

In short, good grading and assessment practices help both sides in instruction monitor and learn from the learning process taking place in the classroom.




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